Pakistani Christians fear Muslim extremist reign

By November 24, 2008

Pakistan (MNN) — Al-Qaeda-Taliban jihadist attacks in
Pakistan have steadily increased over the past two months, the World Evangelical

Terrorists now are poised to overtake the capital city of
the North West Frontier Province. Strategically located on the road to
Afghanistan, the capital is a center for both military deployments and aid
distribution. Jihadists already control most of the Federally Administered
Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, and a total al-Qaeda-Taliban takeover would
not only be devastating for global security but for the three million
Christians living in Pakistan.

Starting with the September 13 bombing of a Marriott Hotel
in the heart of Pakistan's capital city, terrorist attacks have continued to
increase in severity and frequency. Over 250 people were wounded in the
bombing, and 80 perished. A slight surge occurred two weeks ago; six people were
attacked over the course of three days. Gunmen ambushed a vehicle traveling
through Peshawar's "high security zone" on November 12, killing an American aid
worker and his driver. The next day, an Iranian diplomat was abducted by
terrorists after they killed his escort. On November 14, two foreign
journalists were shot and wounded in a botched kidnapping. 

Over the past few decades, Christians in Pakistan have seen
their rights and security steadily decline. The nation's anti-blasphemy law is
one of the most infamous and unjust forms of religious persecution. Under this
law, anyone accused of blasphemy against Islam or the prophet Mohammed can be
immediately arrested; no evidence is needed. Years later a trial is held under
a heavy cloud of Islamic threats and mass hysteria. The threat of this law is a
choke collar on every Pakistani Christian.

Extremists hold their power through terror and regular
executions of anti-Taliban Pashtun tribal elders, who are considered "traitors."
Although the majority of urban Pakistanis desperately want a much-needed wide-scale
reform, Wahhabist clerics ensure that any social, political, legal or religious
reform is permanently blockaded. These clerics hold power by their ability to mobilize
strikes and riots.

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